study of New Jersey, a case study of California conducted by the panel, and a study of the national longitudinal effects of immigration. The panel also developed quantitative evidence on the effects of immigration on the prices of goods and services. Finally, the panel prepared new population projections for the United States to provide a better understanding of the demographic consequences of immigration.

In addressing all these issues, the panel sought to identify the positive as well as the negative effects of immigration. Because it confined its study to the scope of its own expertise, this list of issues does not exhaust all possible consequences of immigration. We did not, for example, investigate the important implications that immigration may have for the nation's educational system or the environment. Our emphasis instead was on our collective areas of expertise: the structure and change in the population and in the economy.

A Road Map

This volume reports the results of the panel's work. It first establishes a context for studying the impact of immigration with a short history of immigration laws and trends and a review of current immigration policy. Chapter 2 also provides an examination of recent immigrants into the United States—who they are, where they came from, what they are like, where they go once they arrive. Chapter 3 reviews the demographic effects of immigration—on population growth, the geographic distribution of population, its age structure, and its ethnic-linguistic composition. Chapters 4 and 5 look at the impact of immigration, legal and illegal, on jobs and wages, of both immigrants and the native-born; it identifies winners and losers, pays special attention to the effects on women in the labor force, and lays out scenarios for the short- and long-term future. Chapters 6 and 7 address the fiscal impacts of immigration—its effects on governmental revenues and expenditures. The social consequences of immigration are the subject of Chapter 8: the effects of immigration on crime, social elites, and social cohesion.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement